It is a tradition in New Orleans that Mondays were wash days. And red beans and rice would simmer on the stove all day for dinner. Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice is an easy way to prepare this traditional dish.
When we visited New Orleans a few years ago, my son and I went to the National WWII Museum. At the time they had a full-service restaurant, but it doesn’t seem to be open anymore. We had lunch there and that’s where I had my very first Red Beans and Rice done the New Orleans way. It was amazing. We went back for a second time to have more Red Beans and Rice, but it is only served on Mondays. You can find it in most restaurants on Mondays so if you are in New Orleans on a Monday then it is a must to grab a bowl. And from that day on, I have been in search of a good easy recipe and one that’s done in the slow cooker. I’m all about good food, but not about complex recipes. I think I finally have it.
It is simple, hearty ingredients. I usually use canned beans for my recipes, but I decided to go old school using dried red beans. I’ve never had much luck using dried beans until now. It worked. All you need is the red beans, celery, peppers, onion, garlic, Cajun seasoning, salt, smoked sausage, and rice. For the peppers, I use red and yellow peppers as I’m not a fan of green pepper, but if you have a green pepper, you can use it. Use what you have on hand. For the sausage, you can make this with smoked sausage or plant-based. I used Field Roast Italian Garlic and Fennel. I make my rice in the rice cooker so this meal is truly press buttons and not worry about it until dinner time. Something I can get behind when I have busy work days that start early and end late.
When doing research for this post and in my search for basic recipes that I could learn from to make Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice, I realized that tomatoes in any form were not part of the traditional recipe. And New Orleanians are very passionate about the fact that it doesn’t have tomatoes. So don’t think about putting any tomato products in it. In fact, I’m nervous about how this recipe will e received.
Looking for other vegetarian slow cooker recipes? Find them here.